“Pathetic.” That’s how Ruth Institute President Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse, Ph.D. characterized the response from the Archdiocese of Los Angeles to
the Institute’s petition calling on Cardinal Roger Mahony to withdraw as a speaker at the L.A. Religious Education Congress (March 22-24).
“The Cardinal has become a symbol of the mishandling of sex abuse complaints,” said Morse. “For him to address a Catholic education conference at this
time is wildly in appropriate.”
Morse notes that, as head of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles from 1985 to 2011, “Cardinal Mahony had a terrible record of covering up sex abuse, to such
an extent that the Archdiocese was forced to pay $660 million in damages – the largest such settlement in the Church’s history.”
In response to a request from America magazine, Carolina G. Guevara, archdiocesan communications director, stated that Mahony “apologized for
mistakes of the past” and “met personally with victims and established a Victims Assistance Office to ensure that they would receive the support to
help them through the healing process.”
Said Morse, “To call the horror of clerical sex abuse, and the Cardinal’s role in covering it up, ‘mistakes of the past’ is an understatement of epic proportions.”
“It’s good that Cardinal Mahony met with some victims of crimes he may have helped to cover up,” Morse observed. “But, if he’d acted responsibly when he
was in a position of authority, there wouldn’t be as many victims in need of healing. Guevara’s statement is a weak rationalization for inexcusable
conduct that diminishes the suffering of victims. Imagine how they will feel when he speaks at a conference where he will, in part, interact with youth.”
Morse added: “For the sake of victims, and the pain that never goes away, the Cardinal should do the decent thing and withdraw from the Los Angeles Religious
The Ruth Institute is a global non-profit, non-denominational organization dedicated to fighting the Sexual Revolution and helping survivors to heal. It
defends the family at home and in the public square and equips others to do the same.
To sign the petition asking that Cardinal Mahony withdraw from the L.A. Congress, go here.